Fragments Of Elastic

I choose to ignore the inhuman screams from the bathroom and continue on to the bedroom.

“I’ve found it love.”

“Found what?” My wife answers with seasoned patience aware, no doubt, that a period of communication consisting entirely of swear words and conspiracy theories is about to begin.

Again.

“The fucking invisible cord attached to my leg. The one that starts pulling the moment I walk away from them and jerks out of their back as soon as I get somewhere close to where I need to be so they can yell DAAAAAAAAAAD or wail like fucking banshees. Basically our children are operated by an invisible mechanism not unlike the one used to get Woody to talk in Toy Story but without the humour or charm.”

“Keep your voice down.”

“They won’t hear a fucking thing unless I throw in some key word triggers. The CHOCOLATE invisible CHOCOLATE cord attached to my ANDYOUWONTGETASTORYEITHER leg. Are you sure they weren’t hypnotised at birth? We could be the victims of some elaborate hoax schemed up by a failed and embittered carney.”

“Daaaaaaaad…she bit me and now she’s pouring water out of the bath…”

*

“Don’t like it.”

“You eat pesto and pasta all the time, don’t be ridiculous.”

“Don’t. Like. It.”

“Fine. Then don’t eat it. But there’s nothing else. And there’s no lolly from your party pack.”

“Want my lolly.”

“Then eat your food.”

“Uhn…nuh.”

“Fine. Then I’ll take it away.”

“No Dad. NOOOO DAAAAADDDDD.

“THEN. EAT. YOUR. FOOD. LIKEAGOODGIRL.”

“I’m being a good boy aren’t I Dad?”

There is a certain sibling law that forces one child to be the designated good person for the evening. Tonight is Rhys’ turn and he’s milking it for all the young-sister-teasing he can wring out of the teat.

“Yes my boy, you’ve been a superstar but you’ve still got plenty to eat and…put the toy down…put the camera down…put the book down…put the…WILLYOUJUSTSITSTILLANDSETAGOODEXAMPLE.”

“I love pasta Dad.”

“Glad to hear it Rhys.”

“Arwen is being naughty isn’t she Dad?”

“Not being NAUGHTY.”

“Yes you are, Dad said you are being…”

“RHYS! Enough. You are not the grown up here…”

Even as I’m saying it I can’t help but wonder who is.

*

“He’s in the corridor.”

“Seriously?”

“I can hear him sighing.”

“Do you want me to go and sort him out.”

“Just leave him. He’ll fall asleep.”

*

“It’s just me big guy, I’m putting you to bed. Go back to sleep. I’ll get your pillow now.”

*

“She was lying the wrong way. I tucked her back in.”

My wife smiles at me with the lazy-eyed lack of focus reserved for headaches and the onset of sleep. “She’s so cute.”

“I know. It’s that hair. He’s asleep as well. He’s a bit hot again though. Probably why he’s being such a pain tonight.”

“Thanks for checking on them love.”

“No worries. Do you need anything?”

“No. I’m fine. Are you staying up?”

“Yeah. I figure I need a couple of hours staring at a blank screen and hating myself. See you in a bit.”

*

There was a moment during the madness where I spoke some words out loud and they took on a life of their own. Mostly words are just words but sometimes they resonate and vibrate with a truth you didn’t even know you were trying to utter. For one poetic, prophetic moment an eloquent summation of your state escapes your lips. You could try and drag them back but it’s as futile as trying to sew up a tear in a thundercloud.

Everyone talks about coming back as something else in another life. I always thought I’d like to be a cat for all the lazing about and the nine lives stuff but it’s not true. If I had another crack at things I think I’d come back as someone not very smart – I don’t mean that in a bad way. Maybe smartness has nothing to do with it. I’d like to come back as someone who is just content. Someone who has his lot and loves it no matter what it is. Someone who doesn’t waste his time perpetually searching for something more. Someone who can just rejoice in being.

I’d love to know what it feels like to wake up in the morning and look forward to every moment and possibility the day might bring. To feel comfortable in my own skin and not constantly worrying about things. To be able to take joy out of the day and those I share it with and not just looking for more, for better, for faster, for different.

I try so hard to be that person and it just isn’t me.”

 

Header Image: Elastic by Umberto Boccioni

http://masterpieceart.net/umberto-boccioni/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19150242

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12 thoughts on “Fragments Of Elastic

  1. Aw Nik – that’s a bit sad. I know, you know you should be enjoying this time with your littllies and your wife because today only comes once but honestly if you were that other bloke you’d be bored and wishing you were Nik – honest.

    Sidles off with fingers crossed wondering if that worked but knowing that really – oh well

    Liked by 1 person

    • Odd as it probably sounds Diane this didn’t feel sad to write. My life is far from joyless but I think it’s important to recognise character traits in myself and to keep working on them. I don’t know why I seem to be constantly dissatisfied with myself – less so with others around me – but perhaps recognising it and writing it down is another step to being a bit different.

      Or maybe I’m not so bad and I’m just being hard on myself as is my style 🙂

      I went for the fragmented style as it’s easy to see joy and frustration in each of the segments. Despite the negative overtones of the last section I had a lot of fun amongst the chaos today – and my family are a lovely bunch.

      Thanks for reading and commenting – this was more cathartic than painful which I think is what writing honestly should be about.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Nik, I don’t know if it’s the same thing, but this struck a bit of a chord with me. I seem to be always looking for the next project, thinking about what needs to be done next, how I can get to that ultimate ‘goal’ where I will actually think I have achieved everything I wanted to do and can then just sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of my labours..
    However, I know I am not that person; I will never be satisfied, and I am very bad at ‘relaxing’ and just enjoying the moment. Are there really people like that person you describe above? I’m not sure I know of any!

    By the way, pesto pasta is a staple in our household too 🙂 I feel very middle class when my toddler is pointing out the basil in the supermarket however.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hoped this would strike a chord with people so it’s good to know I’m not the only one (not that I wish the frustration of chasing the impossible on anyone!). I think over the years I’ve become better at taking pleasure in the little things (kids help with that undoubtedly as I’m sure you know) and I’m trying incredibly hard to avoid passing on some of my hangups/issues/frustrations to the kids. I can deal with spiders well enough now to stop them being scared, I’m prepared to discard my painfully shy side in order to dance around the living room with them (when no one is looking) – I’d probably even play charades with them if I had to. Ok maybe not. But I can’t seem to shake the need to be so hard on myself and to keep feeling like I have to do more. Achieve more.

      I agree though…I’m not sure the person I described is even real. Maybe he or she is utopia and I’ll have to settle for a topia beginning with a more lowly letter of the alphabet. Btopia. Ctopia at best 🙂

      Love your middle-class-moment comment! We pretend to be all hipster and rootsy by growing basil at home and making pesto haha 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to give your thoughts – interesting as always and very much appreciated

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. In some ways having kids help you appreciate those moments and simple pleasures more, but like you say, they are also an added incentive making you want to work even harder and achieve more because you want to be someone they will respect and admire, but you can only do so much!
        We must remember that giving of our time is the most important thing and the main thing they will care about when they are older, the other stuff is probably not as important as we think it is.
        Jealous that you have a better basil growing climate! We used to grow it but had to demolish our greenhouse so don’t bother anymore..

        Liked by 1 person

      • So true Rebecca! It’s not about buying stuff or performing miracles, it’s about being present. It’s about playing stupid games, and tickling and story time. That’s the stuff that matters.

        We are very lucky in terms of what’s in the garden – would like to take credit but it’s mostly my wife’s doing! It’s lovely for the kids to pick and eat from the garden – if we could just teach Arwen to wait for stuff to ripen…

        Like

  3. It’s a dangerous mindset to be in, always striving for the next and better thing… It means you are constantly in a state of lacking where nothing will measure up. But sometimes that’s important – acknowledging what’s bringing you down and changing it. There is good and bad to both sides. Dissatisfaction is what gives us drive, inspires us to improve. Gratitude is what brings us happiness, peace. Can both be felt simultaneously in the same mind? I think they can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s a balancing act that most of us face. I know the very things that I describe as negative are what have driven me to achieve things. I’m also aware that I’m a very natural cynic and it’s easier to belittle moments or to pretend they mean nothing than to admit they mean everything.

      I have to say…being able to write it down and to have people I like and respect give their thoughts on it fills me with plenty of the aforementioned gratitude, happiness and peace.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the montage of family fragments. I think dissatisfaction is a very good motivator. Not too much, obviously, but I find I just get too antsy and bored if I spend too long patting myself on the back for something I did well, or musing about how lovely life is. The moments of being grateful come, but more often as a surprise, rather than the result of some thoughtful contemplation.
    Then again, maybe I’m doing life wrong. Nice post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Nicola – just another normal evening in the Eveleigh household 🙂

      I’d tend to agree with you about dissatisfaction being a good motivator – and it’s a balancing act for sure.

      If you’re doing life wrong then I suspect you’re not alone!

      Thanks for reading and commenting – always appreciated

      Liked by 1 person

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